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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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The scene in the village on the final day of the An Tostal festival when the celebrations were brought to a close with a parade, cross-roads dancing and ceremonial lowering of the Tostal flag. An Tostal was a series of festivals throughout the country celebrating Irish life, inaugurated in 1953 and continuing for the next five years.

1918

Influenza epidemic

The influenza epidemic continues to prevail with unabated virulence in the county, and from various parts, reports of deaths are still being made. In the city, several families are stricken, but, fortunately, no fatal results have occurred since last week.

Of the institutions, St. Mary’s College is the worst sufferer, many of the students being confined to bed, while a number who escaped the disease returned to their homes.

During the week, all the schools in the city were closed, and the theatres have been put out of bounds for military and naval men. The Urban Council decided on Thursday to have the theatres closed for the present.

The Technical Institute has closed down till Monday. Dr. Sandys has resumed work after a week’s illness. Mr. George Duffy, draper, Dominick-st., contracted the disease this week, and his establishment was closed.

The influenza epidemic has been very virulent in Tuam, and there are ten houses in which some of the inmates have not come “down” with the disease. Last weekend, it took a sever grip on the town and the number of sufferers has increased rapidly.

Three shop assistants have fallen victim to the malady. Michael Mullens, whose death was reported last week, was from Ballindine. Thomas Ward, of Clonberne, was removed to his home, where he succumbed on Tuesday. The third victim is Matthew Donnellan, who developed double pneumonia following the disease, and died in Tuam hospital on Tuesday night.

They were extremely popular young men, favourites with their companions, and their early deaths are deeply deplored.

Members of the police force, the post office staff, and bank officials are amongst those laid up. The accommodation in the hospital is taxed to its utmost, and the patients are receiving the greatest care and attention from the doctor, nurses and sisters.

The disease has also spread to Ballyglunin and Turloughmore districts. In the latter place it has been particularly severe, and several deaths have taken place. A young man named Treacy has died near Ballyglunin as a result of it.

1943

Hospital scandal

The condition of affairs in the Galway Central Hospital from the point of view of the treatment of disease was referred to by Mr. M. Donnellan, Leader of Clann na Talmhan, in the Dáil. He said the conditions were a positive disgrace; they were so bad they might be endured only with reluctance and apology as a temporary arrangement if they had been imposed under some scheme of emergency arising out of conditions imposed by actual war or some violent eruption.

The medical and nursing staffs were excellent, but how they managed to do their work and carry on under the conditions imposed by the Minister and his representatives he did not know. The hospital conditions were grossly unjust to the staff and when they were unjust to the staff, they were unjust to the patients.

The whole problem was due to overcrowding, because of the absence of suitable alternative accommodation to relieve pressure on the hospital. It was a monstrous thing to have medical, surgical and tubercular patients mixed in the same hospital; it was unfair to all classes of patients and it was difficult to say who suffered the greatest injustice.

The people of Co. Galway could not understand why that condition of affairs should be allowed to exist. It was not a question of no additional accommodation being available. It would not be easy to find worse or less suitable accommodation for tubercular patients that the Central hospital offered, but the County Council always had been opposed by the Department in its desire to provide better treatment for tubercular patients.

In all decency, he said it was a matter of urgency that a suitable sanatorium should be provided for the treatment of tuberculosis and in the meantime, accommodation of a temporary kind suitable for patients should be found.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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Children from Peterswell after their Confirmation in May, 1974.

1920

Dairy decline

The extended report of the evidence given before the Commission appointed “to enquire into the causes of, and suggest remedies for, the decline of dairying in Ireland,” should be carefully studied.

Prior to the war, a Milk Commission took evidence at Galway and throughout Ireland and Great Britain, but the outbreak of hostilities so altered the situation that a review of the position has now become essential.

The decline of dairying is obviously due to the fact that the Department of Agriculture permitted milch cows to be exported from Ireland in considerable numbers during the last four years.

In the result, the people living in our towns were reduced to a state of semi-starvation. This condition of things was effectively countered in Galway by the successful establishment of a milk depot.

But the expedient was not sufficient to meet the clamant need. The conflict of opinion between the advocates of the milk depot system and the advocates of increasing the ordinary means of supply does not, in the least, detract from the value of a policy that meets the immediate needs of the public and of the poor, while a better way is being sought to regulate on an economic basis the normal means of supply and demand.

Clifden Castle

The judgement in the now famous Clifden Castle land case has been awaited with the most intense interest not merely by the people of Connemara but by all classes throughout the country.  Monsignor McAlpine, who had no interest in the matter save that of the poor tenants who are his parishioners, has lost.

A Chancery Judge has decided in favour of Mr. Joyce and given an injunction with costs, that he is not further to be interfered with in his possession of the Eyre Castle and estate. We may be sure that this decision will be challenged on appeal. But the one fact that emerges is that all this trouble was brought about by the culpable neglect of the Congested Districts Board in delaying for five years the rescue of the Clifden congests.

In 1913-’14 the trustees of the estate were negotiating for the sale of the Castle and lands to the Board for the express purpose of relieving congestion. In 1917 Mr. Joyce got into communication with the auctioneers, and speedily completed the purchase.

He subsequently agreed to sell to the trustees for the tenants upon receiving £20 on his bargain; but Judge Powell has determined that his agreement was made under duress, and cannot stand. Stripped of all the rhetoric that tended to cloud rather than clarify the issues, those are the undisputed facts.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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Western House, Salthill, in the Summer of 1981. The Rockland Hotel has since been replaced by apartments and a restaurant, and the 'Big Arc' or Salthill Amusements (then with pool and snooker upstairs) redeveloped.

1920

Watered down charges

At Galway Petty Sessions on Monday, before Mr. Kilbride, R.M., Sergeant McCaffrey charged Patk Ussher, Wood-quay, Galway, with selling buttermilk containing water. Mr. George Nicolls, Solr., appeared for the defendant.

Complainant said that on November 24 he purchased buttermilk from defendant which, on being analysed, was found to contain 35 per cent. of added water, exclusive of 25 per cent. allowed for churning.

Mr. Nicolls said that the defendant only got the buttermilk from other parties in the Moycullen district, and re-sold it. He did not get any guarantee from the person he bought the milk from, but he (Mr. Nicolls) understood that the sergeant had taken a sample of buttermilk from that person, but the result of the analysis was not known yet.

Defendant sold the buttermilk exactly as he got it. He was a well-known man in the town, and held a responsible position, and everybody knew he was not the sort of man that would commit a fraud.

Complainant stated that after receiving the summons defendant came to him on an evening when the person he bought the milk from was in his house with more, and asked him (the sergeant) to go and take a sample from her. Witness did so and sent it to the analyst, but had not yet got the result.

Mr. Kilbride said that even though defendant did not tamper with the milk it could not affect the offence with which he was charged – that of selling milk with added water. By having another sample of the milk analysed would, of course, clear the defendant of any allegation of fraud.

Sergeant McCaffrey said he did not allege that the defendant tampered with the milk.

Mr. Nicolls said it would be no use questioning the analyst’s certificate, though that might be done as he saw from a report of a case in Dublin that the certificate of three different analysts varied.

Mr. Kilbride said it was too bad to have people paying dear for milk a large percentage of which was water. He fined the defendant £1 and 10s. 6d. costs.

Immodest clothing

A league of St. Brigid will be started on January 10, to give Irishwomen an opportunity of uniting in protest against inroads of foreign immodest fashions.

It is proposed that the centres for joining the League should at first be the educational convents all over Ireland. No subscriptions are required, but each member will be asked to make the following promise in Church or Oratory: “For the glory of God and the honour of Erin, I promise to avoid in my own person all impropriety in the matter of dress and to maintain and hand down the traditional and proverbial purity and modesty of Irish womanhood.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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on

Members of the Patrician Musical Society at rehearsals for their production of Maritana in March 1965.

1919

Hope at Christmas

Looking back over the things written at Christmas for many years, one finds that the note of hope has always dominated.

Last year it seemed that a nightmare had ended, and that a new era had opened. So far as the principal combatants were concerned, an Armistice had been signed.

The ideals of President Wilson rang throughout the world. Ireland had swung in with the flowing tide: in the December elections she had almost unreservedly placed all her hopes in the Peace Conference.

A new era of social endeavour had begun. Labour was to be emancipated from wage slavery; healthy and clean living, better housing accommodation and a fuller citizenship were to be provided for the hewers of wood and the drawers of water. Women were no longer to be compelled to obey legislative enactments in the shaping of which they had no part.

To-day, we are much sadder, though perhaps a little wiser. How little has been done; how much remains!

Improved crop

During recent years the Department’s efforts have been directed towards the possibility of further improving the crop by an efficient system of seed selection. The improved seed obtained as a result of the experiments is distributed to farmers in the barley districts.

Information has been received that the Malting and Seed Barley Competitions held at the recent Brewers’ Exhibition in the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington, London, the World’s Championship Prize for the finest bushel of malting barley of any growth from any county, or colony, exhibited in any class, was won by barley grown by Mr. Edmond Doyle, Warrington, Kilkenny, from seed supplied last spring by the Departments’ Central Plant Breeding Station at Ballinacurra.

Mr. Doyle also won the Mark Lane Champion Challenge Cup for the best sample of seed barley grown in the United Kingdom or Colonies.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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